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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The original Gaelic versions of today's Irish names demonstrate a proud, ancient past. The original Gaelic form of the name Ternes is Mac Tighearnain, which is derived from the word tighearna, which means "lord."

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The surname Ternes was first found in County Cavan, at Tullyhunco where the "Annals of the Four Masters" show no fewer than 33 Tiernans. Almost all were Chiefs of Teallach Donnchadha. Despite their high ranking, their exploits were not well documented from 1250-1550. One must presume that they ruled with compassion and understanding and were amiable to their fellow man. The "Mac" prefix of the name is typically spelt "MacTernan" or "McTernan" and is usually found in the Cavan- Leitrim area of Ireland.

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Ternes that are preserved in archival documents are Tiernan, Tierman, Ternan, Kiernan and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ternes research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the year 1800 is included under the topic Early Ternes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Ternes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Ternes:

Ternes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Christian Ternes, who arrived in North America in 1887

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 14:01.

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